Unlock the Secrets to Authority Marketing with Special Guest - Advantage Media CEO Adam Witty

Unlock the Secrets to Authority Marketing with Special Guest - Advantage Media CEO Adam Witty

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You're listening to Stimulus Tech Talk  a conversation based podcast created by   Stimulus Technologies that covers a range of  topics related to business and technology. Hello! Welcome to Stimulus Tech Talk. I'm Nathan  Whitaker CEO of stimulus Technologies and this   week I'm excited to have a guest with us today,  Adam Witty, the founder and CEO of Forbes Books.   Welcome Adam. Nathan, my pleasure to be with you.  So Adam is the founder and chief executive officer  

of Advantage Media Group, one of the largest  business book publishers in America. The company   provides done-for-you media and publishing  services and through its imprints, Advantage   Books and Forbes Media has helped over 2000 CEOs,  and myself included, being published by Advantage   Media here later this year. Business Leaders  set themselves apart as the authority in their   field. Results driven media services for thought  leaders cover public relations, website design,   content marketing, and podcasting. Advantage is  the exclusive book publishing partner of Forbes   Media offering unparalleled brand by association  and brand access to the Forbes audience. So   welcome Adam. Nathan, we're going to have some fun  together and of course congratulations to you on  

your forthcoming book which will be out later this  year. I'm very excited about the book and it's   been a it's been a journey something wanted to do  for many years and very excited, last week or two   weeks ago, I saw it up on Amazon and it was almost  brought tears to my eyes to see it up there. So   yeah, it's very exciting. So, before we get  started I know this is off topic but, it   wasn't in your bio, but I understand you're also  a commercial pilot. I just wanted to ask you about   that briefly. It was in your in the bio of your  book so I caught that. Yes I think I think we have   a a shared love of aviation. That's right I am a  commercial pilot. I have my commercial instrument  

and seaplane ratings and I fly for business and  for fun. And you know everybody needs a hobby. I   was not very good at golf. I decided to give it  up about six years ago and I started flying and   I found that I really loved it. I always wanted  to learn another language when I was young and I   kind of regret as an adult that I didn't pursue  learning a second language. And when I learned   to fly, I realized that it was the equivalent  of learning a new language. And if you've ever  

heard pilots talk to air traffic control it indeed  is another language. But, man just the learning   and growing has been really, really fun and really  exhilarating for me personally and professionally.   I was the same way. I've been flying for about 15  years now. I got into it because it was always a   dream to do and pretty amazing opportunity to to  learn. As a pilot you're always learning and I I   think that's one of the things that I love about  it too so...well next time we're in the same city   we ought to go flying together. I would love  that. It'd be fun. Well tell me a little bit  

about yourself other than being a pilot. How did  you get into publishing and maybe talk a little   bit about the company. Yeah, so nobody nobody  grows up as a kid wanting to be a publisher.   That is one thing I am very certain of and the  same is true for me. When I was a little boy. I   wanted to play professional basketball. As I got  older and realized that I probably wasn't good   enough to play professionally, I wanted to run a  professional basketball team. And it was when I   was in high school I had a summer where my parents  said to me son you need to get a job. And they  

then rephrased it and said, "Son, you must get  a job." And, it just so happened that the family   that lived next door to us, when I was a kid  growing up, he was an executive at a publishing   company in Central Florida. I'm from Orlando  originally and he offered me a paid internship.   I spent a summer there. I worked in the marketing  department, but I also spent time in editorial,   in design, in the warehouse, in the marketing  and the sales, and all the functions of how   books are created and marketed and sold and even  delivered. And what I thought I would hate, what  

I thought I would not find interesting at all, I  I really liked and and thought was pretty neat.   So the next summer my old boss calls me and says,  "Hey, would you like to come back and great news I   can pay a lot more than I did the first time  around." And I decided I would do it for a   second year. And at that time I worked, not in the  marketing department, but in the sales department  

and the head of sales took me under his  wing, really kind of mentored me and I had   a great experience. I went back to college,  I got my degree in marketing with a minor in   entrepreneurship and I knew that I wanted to to  work for myself. I knew I wanted to try, at least,   to start a business of my own and so I did that  when I was in college. I started a business out of   my dorm room in college and and even though that  business wasn't a big success, it's certainly not   the business I run today, I learned a lot about  myself through the process of trying to start and   and run a business when I was in college. I'm back  at home in Orlando recently after I had graduated,  

and a mentor of mine, his name is Pat Williams  he's the founder of the Orlando Magic basketball   team, remember I wanted to run an NBA basketball  team, which is how I came to know Pat Williams.   He and I were having lunch and we were  having a bit of a career conversation,   and he looks at me and he says, "Adam you should  start a publishing company for business owners.   Every CEO, every entrepreneur, every business  leader needs to be the author of a book.   Because, when they are the experts they  are the choice, they are the person,   they're the company that everybody wants to work  with and when you write the book on the topic,   people see you as the expert. People  see you as the authority on the topic."   And Nathan, not having a better idea of what  I was going to do with my life, I said, "Okay,   I'll start a publishing company." That was  in 2005. The rest, as they say I suppose,  

is history. Now, a lot's happened since 2005.  One is, we morphed from being a publishing   company to really a media services company,  where we help CEOs and leaders like you,   build thought leadership through authoring a book  and through building content and media online.   Of course, we built a business with Forbes,  starting in 2016, and and today Advantage Media   and Forbes Books were one of the largest  independent publishers in the country.   And that's the story, and each and every day I  get to work with Incredible team members, we've   got about 75 team members in our company, and  incredible authors, CEOs, entrepreneurs, pioneers,   leaders in 20 countries across the globe,  experts in technology and I.T., folks like you,   hospitality, manufacturing, robotics, you name  It. We have a really cool base of authors that  

truly are pioneers in their field. Yeah, that was  one of the interesting things that I've discovered   going through the process. Some of my favorite  business authors are either Forbes or Advantage   Media authors. One of them is Jack Daly. I  I I've heard him speak a few times and then   realized that he, is an Advantage uh author.  So, it's really interesting for me, you know,   I thought I'd have to go out you know generate  a manuscript, you know, sell it, try to sell it   to publishers, and I I love your process. You  know, having an idea and a team to to get it  

down on paper, it's a very different thing than  I thought the process would be writing a book.   It's really hard. Writing a book is really  hard as you know. I I just came out with a   new book. It's really hard and when something  is really hard, when there's a lot of friction,  

entrepreneurs find opportunity to make that  process easier. And, I don't think I really   knew what I was doing in 2005 because I was  only but, you know, 22 - 23 years old. But,   really at the end of the day, we were eliminating  friction, we were solving a pain point for most   business leaders, which was creating and  getting a book done was really, really hard.   And so our business is all has always been about  making that process much, much easier. So, I'd  

imagine you know there's a new process that's come  out, which is you know the self-publishing, and   kind of what differentiates Advantage and Forbes  over the self-publishing process that I'm sure a   lot of authors take advantage of? I guess that's  that easy channel now. Yeah. You're absolutely   right. Self-publishing has become ubiquitous. It's  available to the multitudes at really attractive   price points. Right? It can be very inexpensive  to create your own book. I think where Advantage   Media and where Forbes Books really differentiate  themselves, it's in a couple of areas. One is most   leaders that we talk to they have an idea  for a book, but there's not a manuscript,   there's not a book that's been written and taking  an idea and turning it into 40 or 45 000 words,   that's pretty difficult and that's pretty  hard. And that's something that we specialize   in. We help the entrepreneur take an idea, we  really then boil that down into a blueprint,  

what we call a master book plan, and then skilled  ghost writers work with that author to turn that   master book plan into an actual manuscript, which  is then something that's ready for publishing.   Eighty-two percent of the authors that we support,  they come to us with an idea, not with a book. So,   that's kind of one big area where I think we  add a lot of value where with self-publishing,   by definition, it would be up to you to get that  book created first, on your own to create the   manuscript. The second thing is we believe that  authority is the goal. When you have authority,   when people see you as a thought leader, it gives  you incredible power in the marketplace it gives   you pricing power. It gives you demand power  and it makes you the logical place that people  

look for answers to their burning problems and  challenges. And so in our business it's never   been about just creating a book for someone.  It's been about creating an authority plan and   then determining what are the elements that help  create that authority for that leader. And that   would be another thing that that differentiates  us, I believe greatly, is the the media services   that we can layer on top of a book. That can that  can really increase the success for the author.   Yeah. I'm sure that makes a big difference I I was  surprised by the statistic that there's what 500   000 to a million books published every year in  the US, plus the self-published books on top   of that. So, I'm sure it takes a lot to stand  out among all those authors as the authority,  

since there's just so much content out there now.  It is really hard and it is really competitive.   There's so many books, there's so much content.  Something that you and I are going to talk about,   probably in a minute, generative AI is  going to create boatloads more content   at an alarming rate. And so yeah, how do  you stand out? How do you put yourself in  

a category of one where people care what you  have to say and actually will pay attention?   It's not an easy thing now. Before we get into  AI, so talk a little bit about the difference   between traditional marketing, you know there's  tons of people out there doing podcasts or YouTube   channels or social media or AdWords or, you know,  there's lots of different avenues. Give us an idea   of what what authority marketing is versus your  traditional traditional marketing. Yeah, so I'm  

gonna provide a a shameless plug for my new book  and the reason I will do that the subtitle is,   Building Thought Leadership Based on Impact Not  Ego. And here would be the point I would share.   The goal of the book is to teach leaders how to  become a thought leader with something to teach   rather than an operator with something to sell.   When you're trying to sell someone  something their defenses immediately go up.  

Right? They're skeptical, they're not trusting  and they're certain that if you're trying to   separate me from my money, there might be a hidden  reason behind that outside of my best interest.   When I am a teacher providing value by giving  advice, by sharing insights, telling stories,   helping you become more educated, competent,  and knowledgeable about a certain topic,   the trust is really, really high. There are no  barriers. I'm just trying to teach you something,   I'm not trying to sell you something. The big idea  behind authority media and authority marketing is  

that when you become a thought leader your  mission changes from selling to teaching.   And when you teach, and people listen and learn  and are exposed to you, they trust it much,   much faster speed. And really in the marketplace  when somebody buys something from another,   there's got to be a high level of trust in order  for that transaction to take place. To answer your   question, well what is authority marketing and  how is it different from all these other things?   Well, it could be LinkedIn advertising, it  could be Google AdWords, it could be running   a TV or radio commercial. That would all be  advertising and advertising the goal is to get   somebody to buy something. So, when you advertise  you're an operator trying to sell something.   Authority marketing is about sharing what you  know. It could be writing and publishing a book  

and then trying to get that book in the hands of  other people. It could be authoring a podcast,   which is what you do and what we're doing right  now, It could be speaking, it could be writing   a white paper or an article and publishing that  on your blog or somewhere online through a place   like Medium or Substack. Well, when you invest the  time and the energy into those forms of marketing,   we call it authority marketing. It's really  about teaching versus selling. And when you   teach the trust levels go through the roof. That's  really, Nathan, at the end of the day why we think  

authority marketing isn't a nice-to-have, we  think it's a must-have for any CEO and for any   business in the 21st century. Yeah, I think that  word "trust" seems really, you know strikes me is   you know -- the book I read recently  the, Speed Of Trust, by Stephen R. Covey,   you know, it talks about that. It' gets  past those barriers so much faster if you   if you can build that trust and rapport.  It's hard. People have their defenses up   all the time because they're barraged and feel  taken advantage of often in the marketplace.  

If a CEO wants to get into authority  marketing and a book seems overwhelming,   I mean how do they -- but they might have an idea,  how does that work? I mean it's writing 50 60   000 pages, it took me about 12 to 14 months  to write that, it was a lot of a lot of work   and could seem overwhelming. So,  how does a CEO get started with it?   A lot of the times I recommend people not  start with a book because it is such a big   and daunting task. Really, where it starts is  answering this question, "What's keeping your   target customer awake at night?" What are the  problems that you and or your business can solve   and how can you teach your target customer how  to solve those problems? And then of course,   they logically realize, well if I don't want to  solve it on my own, let me call Adam, or or let   me call Nathan, because they both have companies  that could probably solve this problem for me.  

So that is the first place I always recommend  to start is ask yourself the question, "What's   keeping my best customer awake at night?" Second,  rather than writing a book, I would instead say,   maybe it's just time to start writing content or  creating content. Now, you want to have a strategy   in place and know what the end goal is and what  you're creating that content for. We recommend   something we call it a Master Content Plan, but  the point is to have a master plan of who's the   audience, what's the content that they care about  and would like to know answers to, and then what   content, in what size and what form, am I going  to write? When and where am I going to publish it?   Now, there's a lot of things I just said there,  so it probably isn't as easy as you had hoped,   but authority marketing is all about being  intentional. It's not about just randomly doing   things and hoping that there's a positive result  that comes from the randomness. So, beginning with   the end in mind, building a plan, even if it's  just for content creation, forget about a book.   That's the most important thing. It seems like  it takes consistency too, you know you just can't  

write one blog article, or you know, one podcast  and it's done. You have to be consistently adding   to get you know presence in the marketplace.  Would you agree with that? Authority is what   I call a virtuous circle and that is the more  of it you do, the more effective it all becomes   and consistency and repetitiveness, not doing  the same thing every time, but just repeating   the process of creating and publishing content,  it's super important. So, going back to something  

you said a minute ago about what keeps you up  at night, I'm sure that AI probably keeps you   up at night a little bit. So kind of talk to  me about how AI, it might be disrupting the   publishing and writing field. You know, whether  it's blogs or books, I'm sure it's affecting what   you guys are doing. Yeah. Generative Artificial  Intelligence is going to change a lot of things   and a lot of businesses and a lot of industries  and a lot of just the way that we currently lead   our lives. To me, I think the changes will  be significant and in some cases profound.  

Now, I think also I would say right now there's a  lot of hype, there's a lot of wonderment about how   significant AI will be and a lot of that is still  unknown. Right? So it is possible that some of   its hype that never materializes, but on the other  hand I think we definitively know that there is a   big impact that AI will have in a lot of different  forms of how we as humans you know kind of conduct   life, both personally and professionally. In our  business we see AI as a tool that can be used to   make our content far better. We don't see AI fully  replacing humans in the creation of content and,   in fact, I would almost sound the alarm and say  I think it becomes a real problem if machines are   creating all of the content that we consume. You  know artistry, and and we believe our authors are   artists, artistry is about creativity. It's about  ingenuity, it's about emotion, it's about feeling   and all of that wraps together to create  words that move people. Now you know, Nathan,  

you and I are both non-fiction writers so it's  unlikely that the words that we put on paper may   lead someone to cry, but the words that we put on  paper through our own creative and artistic form,   it's unique. Every single person on  this Earth has a unique thumbprint.   No two people have the same thumbprint and  I believe that no two authors have the exact   same voice when authorship comes from a person. So  we believe that the very highest quality content   will still come from people, using AI as a tool  to make it easier, faster, and more productive   for those people to create content. So, in which  ways are you seeing, or have you seen, authors, if   you've seen it to this point, use AI successfully,  where's the balance there? Well, the first place   is, that if if an author is going to use AI  as a tool for creating or assembling content,   the first thing is that we believe it needs to  come from what I'll call a "closed data set"   and that closed data set is only the author's  IP. With ChatGPT, as an example, which is a  

Large Language Model, that really has scoured the  entire internet, which is this public database of   content, if I say hey I'm going to use ChatGBT  to write a new book on investing for retirement.   Well, if I use ChatGPT with an open data  set, I am taking other people's content,   a machine is reorganizing it and then I'm going  to put my name on it and claim it as my own.   Well, first of all, it's copyright infringement,  but secondly it's unethical, I would say immoral,   in my opinion. And if if you look at  what is the backbone of free societies,  

it's respect for intellectual property rights.  And so the area that we have to be really careful   with AI, is that we don't start trampling  over others intellectual property rights   because we're motivated by our job becoming a lot  easier by simply taking other people's content   and letting the machine rewrite it. I don't care  what you say that's still plagiarism. So I'm an   advocate of closed data sets and I'll give you an  example. So many authors that we work with, they   will say, "Hey I don't have a book written but  I've been writing a Blog for the last five years   and I've given five different keynote speeches  and I do a podcast and I have a hundred episodes   of my podcast and you know I've written a couple  of white papers." Okay, so today we can take all   of that content we can feed it in to a closed  end LLM and then use only that author's content   with the right prompts to create new  content, which could help create a book.  

The difference is it's all of that author's  original content. It's not going to the World   Wide Web and taking other people's content  and regenerating it into something new.   Well, that's interesting. Just to get  an acronym, LLM is language learning... 

Yeah, I think I said Large Language  Model but I may be incorrect In LLM. So that's interesting. I never thought of it that  way, of using the author's content in an AI model   to build, you know, that new structure and, so  you mentioned, just going back the copyright   side of things, so are you, have there been  any rulings or any decisions or is it just is   it up to the court still to decide what what's  going to happen with the copyright side of AI,   ChatGPT and all these other of these other  systems? My understanding is we are still in the   early days it is the Wild Wild West and you know  courts and governments have not yet figured out   how they're going to monitor, regulate, create  laws that govern proper behavior with AI. So I  

don't believe any of that's been addressed yet.  Is there, for somebody that's a novice to this,   is there a way to distinguish between  AI generated content and human generated   content? I mean is there if you're reading  something whether it's a Blog article or a news   article or even a book. Yeah. Yeah, is there  a good way to have an idea what's going on?   It's funny, I I was on the phone with one of my  colleagues today and they said AI Cheat Check.   It's an app and I believe you can put a  document, or put content, into AI Cheat Check   and it will tell you what percentage of the  content has been generated through a machine.   These of course are the early days of even  something like that, but it is something that we   are using in our business to determine when other  people submit content to us and claim it as their   own. You know we have to verify, as the publisher,  that it is indeed their content because if we  

knowingly allow an author to publish something  that plagiarizes another person's work, then   we're as liable as the author is. Interesting. And  does the same thing affect, you know, other than,   you know, print publishing, does the same thing  affect internet content and a lot of things you're   reading out there? I'm sure there's you know  copyright protections of of that material also.   Yeah it does, it would protect all of those things  that are copyrightable, both online and offline.   Yeah it's going to be interesting over the next  couple of years because I mean there is so easy I   you know, it's fun to play around with. I  did a webinar on AI a couple of weeks ago   and and I pulled up chat GPT and had it write some  things. Just jokingly, I'm getting married soon,  

and and I thought, oh I'll throw in ask ChatGPT to  write some wedding vows, and it was, and I put it   in the doc this, you know, have it write it like  Dr Seuss would, and it was it was very creative,   but it certainly is more for entertainment  value I think at this point, because it   could be wrong too and you got to be careful  about that. That there's times it's pulling in   different materials and it could just be flat out  wrong of what it's generating. Yeah absolutely.   So, well I guess you know it's the beginning. I'm  sure we'll have you on again to talk about it as  

maybe some court cases come out but certainly,  certainly an interesting interesting topic on   the AI's thing. So, Adam did shamelessly plug  his book. I actually have a copy here too,   so I've been, I've been reading it. It's been a  great process to work with Advantage Media as I've   written my book and I highly recommend them.  It's a great great opportunity if, you know,   if you're a CEO or or just somebody that wants to  educate people, Advantage is a great, great method   of getting that content created and out there and  it's been a great team to work with. So thank you   Adam for coming in today and and meeting with us  and very good discussion. Nathan, great news! I  

have an offer for everybody on the podcast and  that is they can receive a free digital copy,   or audio copy, of the new book. And all they have  to do is visit the authorityadvantagebook.com,   and the book that you just held up,  and the book that I'm holding up,   any of your listeners can get a complimentary  digital or audio copy if they go to that website.   Excellent we'll make sure we include that  link along with the podcast. So again Adam,  

thanks for your time and have a great rest of  your day. Thank you Nathan [Music] thank you.

2023-06-30 02:02

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